Finding Aid
Samuel D. Gross
Samuel D. Gross
1805 - 1884
(Art/Photo Collection, AG-106)

MS004
Samuel D. Gross Collection
1856 - 1934
1.0 Linear Foot (2 Boxes )

Biographical Note
Born 8 July 1805 near Easton (PA), Samuel D. Gross (1805-1884) was the son of Philip and Johanna (Brown) Gross. After graduating from Jefferson Medical College in 1828, Samuel D. Gross opened a medical office in Philadelphia. His practice was not very lucrative, due to the large number of physicians residing in the city. As a result, Gross relocated to Easton (PA) in 1830 where he practiced medicine and wrote his first original text Anatomy, Physiology, and Diseases of the Bones and Joints (1830).

In 1833, Gross embarked upon his teaching career by obtaining a position as Demonstrator of Anatomy at the Medical College of Ohio. Two years later he joined the faculty of the Medical Department of Cincinnati College as Professor of Pathological Anatomy. In 1840, Gross advanced to the chair of surgery at the University of Louisville. He resigned this position in 1850 to accept the chair of surgery at the University of New York. After lecturing in New York for only one session, Gross yielded to the requests of his former colleagues and returned to Louisville. Gross remained at University of Louisville until 1856 when Jefferson Medical College asked him to replace its ailing professor of surgery, Thomas Dent Mütter. Gross was the first alumnus to be appointed to a professorship at Jefferson. After serving on Jefferson’s faculty for twenty-five years Gross resigned in March 1882. Gross retained the title of Emeritus Professor of Surgery until his death on 6 May 1884 in Philadelphia. Married to Louisa Weissell in 1828, the couple had four surviving children, including Samuel Weissell Gross.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Gross enjoyed a wide reputation for his numerous writings (14 books and more than 1200 articles). Among these works the most outstanding was Gross’ System of Surgery (1859) which was translated into several different languages and went through six American editions between 1859 and 1882. A founder of the American Medical Association, Dr. Gross was also the founder of the Pathological Society of Philadelphia and of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, the founder and first president of the American Surgical Association, and the first president of the Alumni Association of Jefferson Medical College.

Scope and Contents
The collection consists of materials by or about Samuel D. Gross, MD or his family members from 1856-1934. Types of materials within the collection include addresses (1856-1882) to Jefferson Medical College and the American Surgical Association, correspondence (1861, 1876-1883, 1934 - with gaps), medical journal articles (1857-1884), lecture notes (some believed to be the work of Samuel W. Gross); and one scrapbook containing obituaries and sympathy letters.

Organization and Arrangement

  1. Addresses (1856-1882)
    Arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the sponsoring organization and in chronological order within each of these alphabetical subject headings.

  2. Correspondence (1861-1934)
    Arranged in chronological order.

  3. Publications (1857-1884)
    Arranged in chronological order.

  4. Events & Ephemera (1876-1879)
    Arranged in alphabetical order by subject heading.

  5. Lecture Notes

  6. Necrology (1884)

View and print the full finding aid (including box and folder list) in PDF format (107KB)



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